In my guide to “declutter your home“, I usually recommend tackling decluttering projects a little bit at a time. Even just 15 minutes a day.
However, you may be in a situation where you need to declutter your home fast, and want to make a lot of progress in just a few hours AND see amazing results!
Trying to declutter your home fast can be a daunting task, but here is a step by step guide to get the best results in a few hours or less.
6 Tips To Declutter Your Home FAST
1. Set A Time With No Distractions
Planning ahead of time will help you get better results faster. Decide on a chunk of time to set aside for this marathon. It could be a Saturday morning, a whole weekend, or days off work. Put it on your schedule, and make sure you plan ahead to make sure there aren’t distractions. If you’ve got kids, it’s best to get them completely out of the house if at all possible.
2. Get 5 boxes Ready. This Will Speed Up the Process.
It is very helpful to get 5 boxes ready ahead of time. It might take 10 minutes to get these boxes together, but it will help speed up the process dramatically and make your project easier, faster, and more likely to succeed.
The boxes are for items to 1) sell, 2) trash, 3) recycle, 4) donate, and 5) re-organize. Once your boxes are ready, you can start decluttering your home much more efficiently.
3. Decide Ahead of Time How You’ll Get Rid of Stuff. Don’t Skip This Step!
Decluttering isn’t done until the stuff is out of the house. Before you get into it, make plans for how you will get rid of everything and give yourself deadlines.
You’re going to leave time at the end of your declutter marathon to drop off all donated items at the donation center of your choice. If you plan to sell items off individually, like on Craigslist or Facebook, give yourself a deadline. If you haven’t sold them within that time period, donate. I’ve held onto piles of stuff that I knew I could make a few bucks off of, but never got around to listing them. It’s still clutter until it’s out of the house!
4. To Make Progress Fast, Focus Exclusively on Discarding
Reorganization expert Marie Kondo often says that discarding must come first (“All at once, intensively and completely”). I think this is such a great tip: I’ve failed several times before at tackling decluttering projects and giving up half-way. However, when I started to focus first on discarding items (and not re-organizing items I wanted to keep), it helped me progress much faster.
It’s so easy to get overwhelmed between discarding, re-organizing or finding a new place for items that you don’t have a place for. When you want to declutter your home fast, you should first focus on discarding.
So fill up your “sell”, “trash”, “recycle” and “donate” boxes. The “re-organize” box is helpful as it will help you get misplaced items out of the way to stay 100% focused on discarding.
5. How to Declutter Fast: Start With the Low-Hanging Fruits
Ok, now we’re getting into it. Decide precisely which areas of your house will be tackled during your fast declutter marathon. A task list will help you stay on task! Here is a list of things to declutter in your home to make a lot of progress fast.
You can prioritize this list depending on where you think you want to declutter first. But here is a general list that you might find inspiration from.
Note that this list is not meant to be exhaustive. It’s a list of potential quick wins to make progress in just a couple of hours.
Your wardrobe (get rid of 5-15 pieces in 20 minutes):
- Clothes that are stained or have holes.
- Clothes that are not comfortable. Get rid of clothes that don’t make you feel good.
- Shoes: shoes that have been used 100 times but “don’t look that bad” are not worth much anyway.
Paperwork (you will probably find a lot of magazines or books to throw away in 15 minutes or less):
- Old magazines & used notepads: If you marked pages to look back at, rip them out and put them in a folder with a date on them to get rid of by.
- Books: You can probably pick a few books quickly that need to go.
- Old paperwork: Check out this pin to learn how long to keep paperwork
Bathroom (clean up your counter and free up space in 20 minutes):
- Counter clutter: Have a look at all the items that might be sitting on your counter. Make sure it deserves the prime location. I only keep hand soap and face wash, as a rule. We know that nothing else is supposed to be left out and our counter looks so much better!
- Too many old towels: we buy new ones, don’t get rid of the old worn out ones, and end up with 30 towels for 2 people. Sound familiar? This can free up a LOT of closet space.
Want more ideas of quick easy wins? Keep reading: 25 Things to Declutter Without Hesitation… for a Better Looking Home.
6. Leave Time to Finish Your Project
You are not done until the items are out of your house.
Leave time to finish up after you’ve gotten through things. You’ll obviously put away what you’re keeping in a neat and orderly fashion. What else?
- Put the box of items to donate in the car. If possible, take them directly to the donation center.
- Put it on your schedule when you’ll list individual items you want to sell. If you haven’t sold everything by a certain deadline, it gets donated!
- Throw out the trash/recycling.
- Celebrate! Turn on some peppy music, dance around, then gaze lovingly at your decluttered space. It’s important to celebrate victories, big or small.
A Few More Tips to Help You Discard More Stuff:
- It’s easier to decide what to keep than what to get rid of. Assume you’re getting rid of all of it and then decide what you’d like to keep.
- Take it all out. Empty the box, drawer, closet, etc. Again, assume you will get rid of most of it, and decide what to keep.
- Pinpoint exactly when you last used it. I have people tell me they use something all the time. When I ask them the last time they remember using it, it often turns out that it’s been years!
- Do you love it? Really, really adore it?
- Read my guide to “Declutter Your Home“.
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